Random Thoughts Before Moving to Jordan

A few random thoughts as we prepare to move to Jordan…

Our flight there is August 1st and our return flight is for January 31st.


Photo Credit: Hannah Bradford. I think I was like 15 in this picture…. I just noticed my nose was right on Jordan. Lol

Spices— call me a weirdo, but I’ve really been obsessing over what to do with my spices while we are in Jordan. I love cooking and I love my spices (See Confessions of a Food Troll)! They are a pretty expensive investment though because I like to have so many different types. So, I hate to give them away when we leave, because then I’ll have to rebuy all of them when we get back. Maybe if I store them in an airtight container in a cool place, they’ll last until we get back? But then that brings me to the second problem… spices in Jordan. I know I can get whatever spices I need there (probably cheaper and better quality too), but it’s still kind of expensive to stock a kitchen with all the spices I want, especially since we will be living on a very limited budget while we are there, as neither of us have a source of income (yet?). So that predicament brought on google searches like, “can I take spices on international flights?” I realize I am being ridiculous and we’ll be fine with a smaller assortment of spices in Jordan…. But these are the things I worry about sometimes.

Food — When we finally decided on a date for moving to Jordan, I decided to not buy any more “long term” food and just go through what I have in my pantry and freezer. By “long term” I mean stuff like rice, beans, lentils, pasta, flour, canned goods, frozen goods, spices, etc. I am still buying fresh fruits and vegetables… and chocolate of course. This is partly to save money for our trip and partly because I absolutely hate not using the food I bought (See The Tabbouleh Tragedy). So, over the last few months, I’ve been becoming very creative with my meals, only cooking using stuff I already have. It’s actually been a lot of fun… kinda like a puzzle that I am slowly figuring out. It’s very satisfying to see the cabinets empty of dried goods and see the freezer empty out. I love the feeling of taking random ingredients like sushi rice, frozen turkey, frozen vegetables, and a jar of hoisin sauce and some other ingredients and making a great meal out of it. This is something I’d like to do every year or so now… I love it!

Preparations for Jordan— OMG what are we doing?!?!?!?! AGGGGHHHH. If I open this door, a flood of overwhelming emotions starts to pour out, so I slam it back shut….. let’s take these one by one…


Photo Credit: Hannah Bradford. This is my goofy brother … sometimes I feel like this is what I’m doing with my life, lol.

Job for Jordan — There are none on the horizon for me or Gary… that’s nerve wracking… I don’t really know what to do with it. We can use our savings, but that is not ideal by any means. Here, there is guilt, doubt, apprehension and fear. I remind myself that money is not everything. We are still young and we have time to work again and build our savings again. God please provide for us.


Photo Credit: Hannah Bradford. This was our Jordanian cat, Mookie (he was the best, R.I.P.). He was our Christmas gift when we lived in Jordan. Little did we know, this fierce shelter cat was our gift because our parents were too broke to buy anything! lol… he was the best Christmas gift ever!

House in Jordan — Members of the church we will attend are graciously searching for an apartment for us. This is a huge blessing and gift. I do need to follow up with some more emails though… I will get on that today.

What to do in Jordan — With our job situation still up in the air, we do have some ideas of what we will be doing. I will be studying Arabic and volunteering with Syrian refugees. Gary, if he doesn’t find a job, will be studying computer programming, and serving the refugees as he is able. We pray that we can be humble and learn from others around us. We also pray that we can be a blessing to those around us.

Excitement about travel — On our way to Jordan, we will have a five-day layover in Paris. I am super excited about that because I will get to see my old roommate (she’s the best!!!) and her boyfriend! Also, Gary and I will get to tour some of Paris!! Also, while in Jordan, we have a few places we would like to visit: The Gulf of Aqaba (the most beautiful coral reefs I have ever seen!!), Petra (is absolutely breathtaking… amazing hiking and history) and the Dead Sea (get that mud!). I’m excited about experiencing these things with Gary and I hope we are able to enjoy them. I am also so excited to just be back in the Jordanian and Syrian cultures. These people are so hospitable and inspiring and I am excited about the adventures Gary and I could have. I am hopeful that we can make good friends while we are there… Please provide us with community, God.

Preparations for Paris— We still need to find housing while we are in Paris… it is getting close. I like the idea of a hostel (I guess I have romantic notions of being a vagabond), but Gary isn’t too fond of that idea. We’ll see what we end up doing.

Cold in Jordan— I am nervous about the cold winter months. Both Gary and I are complete babies when it comes to cold weather and Jordan gets cold… don’t let images of the scalding hot dessert fool you…. It gets cold and snowy in the winter. Actually, the first time I ever saw snow was in Jordan and the coldest I have ever been was also in Jordan.


This actually was in Indiana visiting friends… but you get the picture.

When we get back from Jordan — I think this will have to be a separate post, because this one is also very overwhelming and I haven’t begun to sort this out yet.


God, I worry about a lot of things. Help me remember that I am actually not the one in control of my life. I have given my life to you, as has Gary. You take care of us. We are your children and you love us. You have given your own life for us, so we know you will not withhold your love and providence in any area of our lives. Please help us to trust in you. Thank you for your love and help us to love others, as you love us.




Photo Credit: Hannah Bradford.


About sarjb

I am from Brasil, specifically a town near São Paulo called Atibaia. My parents are from the US and lived in Brasil for around 23 years. I came to the US when I was 18 to begin college. Just a few weeks after moving to the US, I met Gary while swing-dancing at OU (the University of Oklahoma). He later became my husband. I studied Arabic in college and have lived in Jordan for a total of around 2 years (both as a child and during my college years).
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